After enduring months of extensive renovations, and no small volley of rumors and speculation, Beaux, the stylish Castro gay nightclub, has opened.
As several other gay bars have closed and morphed into straight venues, it is with pleasure - and perhaps a sense of relief - that the former site of Trigger and The Detour at 2344 Market Street has retained its gay identity.
After a first weekend of soft openings, the club opened to the general public on October 10. Marketing Director Joshua J. Cook called the design "an organized chaos of blacks and grey and dark navy, polished and sophisticated design."
Beaux is the newest joint venture from owners Tim Eicher and partner Jeff Eubanks. Along with partners Rob Giljum and Rob Cotterman, the group has brought new life into the Castro district in the past four years with venues such as Qbar, The Edge and Midnight Sun. Some credit these entrepreneurs for saving gay nightlife in the Castro district by renovating and keeping such venues alive.
Beaux will be the first venue that the group has created from the ground up. The old décor of Trigger was basically gutted to make way for a space that offers a contrasting sense of intimacy and openness.
Designer Lauren Geremia, (Bloodhound, Churchill) took inspiration from the new club’s name and created a sophisticated yet approachable room that "evokes feelings of romanticism with a heavy touch of timeless masculinity." All-new dark hardwood floors handmade from oak, walnut and brass give the venue a solidity, while the high ceilings and angled frames above the bar offer an open feel.
With three bars, there’s little chance patrons should wait too long for drinks. The main bar has been reduced in size from the old Trigger U-shaped bar. There’s a side "boomerang" bar near the DJ booth underneath the mezzanine, and a third smaller bar upstairs. "All three fully stocked," Cook added.
Patrons can hang out by the wooden wall structure, dance by the DJ booth, or sit at one of the oversized comfy leather chairs, sofas and ottomans on the mezzanine. You can also find ample seating up front, where the one-way windows offer a scenic view of the Castro streets outside. Doorways and corners are open and wheelchair-accessible, and the upstairs mezzanine can be reached by stairs or an elevator.
However, with the level of upscale design, there will not be a strict dress code. The days of restrictive door policies from the Trigger days are over.
"People have been asking about that, and I’ve been told we should have a dress code," said Joshua. "The thing is, I’m from the Bay Area, and I know that all different styles mean nothing about what a person is like. We don’t mind if you spent the day at Dolores Park in flip-flops and then stop by. It’s San Francisco. We’re casual. Though the club is sophisticated, it should be approachable. Just come with a friendly attitude."
This is not to say that patrons can’t go upscale on their own, with mezzanine bottle service, an element Joshua said will soon be included. But don’t expect snobbery.